Yielding to Emergency Vehicles

When an emergency vehicle is driving with its lights flashing and the siren going, that means it’s going Code Red to an emergency somewhere. Code Red means someone needs help quickly and responders are asking drivers to clear the way to the emergency scene.

When an emergency vehicle is heard and/or seen, drivers should carefully pull their vehicle to the right of the road and stop. If they are at an intersection, or stopped in traffic when they see lights or hear a siren, drivers should remain stopped and wait until the emergency vehicles have passed. Do not make quick or erratic maneuvers. The law is very specific; drivers must yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle. Drivers also should stay at least 300 feet behind emergency vehicles.

At night it is very helpful to drivers of emergency vehicles when oncoming cars turn off headlights (leaving parking lights on) after safely pulling over and stopping their vehicle. This extra courteous step assists emergency drivers in seeing the roadway and other obstacles.

A crash involving an emergency vehicle delays help to those who need it. Firefighters are careful to avoid vehicle collisions by driving slowly when traveling against traffic, or coming to a complete stop at intersections. The cooperation of all vehicles on the roadway is required. Be careful when driving by or around a motor vehicle accident or any situation where emergency vehicles are parked and the firefighters are working. Pay attention to your driving and resist the impulse to try get a look at the accident scene. This can cause additional collisions and put responders at risk. Even though fire apparatus are placed to protect firefighters, tragically, sometimes emergency crews have been hit and killed by passing vehicles.